Poll Update: Colombia’s Presidential Race ahead of March Vote

By Holly K. Sonneland

Three primary-like votes will eliminate more than half of a large, unwieldy presidential field.

There are more than 20 candidates in Colombia’s 2022 race. The field will get significantly winnowed in March 13 inter-party consultations that aren’t technically primaries but will function in a similar way, when 16 of those candidates will vie for three winning tickets to the next round. Barring an extraordinary event, Gustavo Petro is the only name sure to pass onto the next round. Sergio Fajardo is in close competition with Juan Manuel Galán to win their center-left consultation, and the third center-right competition at the moment is a dead heat between Fico Gutiérrez and Alejandro Char.

Rodolfo Hernández, Ingrid Betancourt, and Óscar Iván Zuluaga are the biggest names not competing in the March consultations, which coincide with legislative elections. They will instead appear on the ballot for a first time in the May 29 first-round presidential vote. Betancourt and Zuluaga could run in a consultation but have opted not to, betting on the strength of their personal and parties’ reputations. Hernández, meanwhile, has vowed to remain independent.

AS/COA Online looks at where candidates stand within their various coalitions, candidates’ favorability and name recognition, and the work cut out ahead for each to win the hearts, minds, and votes of Colombians in a turbulent time.